After narrow defeats to Mexico and Sweden, South Korea trainer Shin Tae-yong summed up his group’s position neatly, describing them as”a drowning man clutching at a straw.” The late heroics of Germany’s Toni Kroos against Sweden spared Shin’s side the ignominy of elimination with a match to spare, but a win on Wednesday afternoon and a success for Mexico against Sweden provides them any chance of progress.
Although South Korea are aggressive in the handle and willing to pay plenty of ground, they have struggled to create any attacking momentum. A stunning late strike from a mostly isolated Son Heung-min against Mexico has been the sum total of their offensive efforts so far, and they did not even manage a shot on target within their Group F opener from Sweden.
Opta tell us that South Korea have lost their past four matches at World Cup finals. It’s also worth noting they have dropped their past two World Cup games from Germany, a group game in 1994 and the semi-final in 2002.
South Korea’s cause won’t be helped by skipper Ki Sung-yeung’s loss to harm, and Park Joo-ho that was full-back is still sidelined. Shin must find a way to get Tottenham forward Son more support in attack – he had eight shots against Mexico, and taken the whole offensive weight on his shoulders.
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